Guidelines for Students on Spring 2020 Pass/No Credit Grading Option
For the Spring 2020 semester only, LSU students can elect to have the final grades for specific courses recorded on their official transcripts as a Pass or No Credit (P/NC) instead of the usual +/- letter grade. For those who seek to retain the +/- grading framework for all of their courses, there is no action necessary. For those who are considering transitioning one or more classes to a P/NC option, a web portal will be made available to students no later than Monday, April 27th. There, you will be able to select which courses you want to opt into the framework. You will be able to make your selections between April 27th and 11 p.m. on May 2nd. The portal will then close for the week of final exams, and will re-open between May 11th and 4:30 p.m. on May 13th. It is only on your final official grade report and transcript that you will see the P/NC designation reflected.
You will need to make an informed choice in making your grading framework selection. Please review the factors below that should be considered before making this decision.
- For undergraduate students, grades A+ through C- can be designated as P, and grades D+ through F can be designated as NC. For graduate students, grades A+ through B- can be designated as P, and grades C+ through F can be designated as NC. This does not apply to students in the Paul M. Hebert Law Center or School of Veterinary Medicine. In addition, it does not apply to students enrolled in LSU Online Programs, which are on a different semester cycle.
- Electing P/NC for a course means getting an NC will not bring your GPA down, but getting a P will also not bring your GPA up. This is important to note for May 2020 degree candidates who have a GPA below the needed minimum standard required for graduation. Earning P grades would not raise your GPA to the necessary graduation standard.
- Because many students will want to keep their +/- letter grades, faculty will continue to compute and report the regular grades you have earned. The Office of the University Registrar will retain these grades if students need them for future use. The grading type you select is what will be reflected on your transcript. Should you elect P/NC grading, the letter grade that you earned will not appear on your transcript and will be replaced by either a P or NC designation.
- If you get a P in a course, you will earn credit toward degree requirements. P grades will also meet CATS tracking requirements.
- If you get an NC in a course, you will not earn credit in the course and will have
to take it again if you want/need the credit.
- Not earning credit in a course can have significant consequences that you will want to consider. You must have 15 hours of earned credit to earn President’s or Dean’s List Honor Rolls. Hours earned also impact future scheduling priorities, certain eligibility requirements, and can impact financial aid.
- If you get an NC in a course and it is a prerequisite for another course you intend to take, you cannot move on to the next course until earning credit for the initial course. For undergraduates, P grades will count as the prerequisite for all future courses, even if a grade of C- or B- or better is required.
- Medical schools have been indicating that they will require standard letter grades and not P designations for applicants from schools that are not having a forced P/NC or P/F grading framework. LSU’s policy is elective, and you could therefore face significant consequences when applying to medical schools if the P/NC grading option is selected.
- Many other professional, law, veterinary, dental, and graduate schools have strict admission requirements related to the acceptance of P grades. Students seeking entry into one of these programs should research required grading requirements for admission, as P grades may not be sufficient.
- Financial aid and scholarships may be adversely affected by selecting the P/NC option.
Students should check with a financial aid counselor and/or visit the FAQ section
of the Financial Aid & Scholarships website to make a determination. A few common issues to consider include the following:
- TOPS - The Governor's Proclamation suspends the student's requirements for meeting the GPA and annual hours for the 2019-2020 academic year for TOPS. If you are currently receiving the TOPS award, a P/NC grade will not have an impact on your TOPS eligibility. If you are currently suspended from TOPS and working to bring your GPA up to regain the award, the P/NC option would not help your GPA.
- Federal Financial Aid (grants and loans) - Pass/No Credit (P/NC) option is available course by course. It would be best to consider your current GPA and determine the best combination of letter grades and P/NC grades to ensure continued Satisfactory Academic Progress eligibility. As a reminder, if you are trying to raise your GPA, the P/NC grade will not have an impact on your GPA. An NC grade will have a negative impact on pace of progression for SAP and students on SAP plans, as earned hours are not granted for NC grades. Appeals are also available for extenuating circumstances.
- Institutional Scholarships - Pass/No Credit (P/NC) option is available course by course. It would be best to consider your current GPA and determine the best combination of letter grades and P/NC grades to ensure continued scholarship eligibility. As a reminder, if you are trying to raise your GPA, the P/NC grade will not have an impact on your GPA. Appeals are also available for extenuating circumstances.
- Students earning an NC may delay their graduation timeline. You should check with your advisor to determine if this will be a problem.
- This framework can be used for courses that were originally designated as P/F or S/U as well.
- Students who previously withdrew from a course with a W can still elect to change to the P/NC framework. In this scenario, W grades will be converted to an NC grade.
- Students will be able to update their selections as needed throughout the two periods of time during which the web portal is open. It is important to note that while students can change their elections freely, the selection that is in place when the web portal closes at 4:30 pm on Wednesday, May 13th is the selection that will be utilized to calculate final grades and perform academic action.
- Courses that were completed as part of the spring semester’s first 8-week session are not eligible for a change in grading type and will not appear on the web portal. These courses were completed on March 4th, before the change in delivery modality.
- Some courses may not be eligible for a change in grading framework based on outcomes of disciplinary hearings conducted by the Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability (SAA). Depending on the timing of the violation and SAA ruling, these courses may appear in the application; however, they will not be converted to the alternate grading framework at the end of the semester.
Updated: April 20, 2020